Carrying it further from Dew’s post
(yeah even copying her post title 🙂 )
Dew’s post on how women are perceived at workplace made me write my own post (yeah the long comment on her post wasn’t enough!).
My mother had a 9 to 5 job in the defense sector. Like my father. We didn’t have any maid at home and yet my parents could handle the situation well in their own graceful manner. My father used to help my mother in washing clothes/utensils, looking after our studies, maintaining our small kitchen garden (which deserves a post to be dedicated after!). And yet when it came to us falling sick or exam times, it was my mother who took days off from her work. No, we don’t regret that. And neither does she. I guess, there are somethings which a mother can do better – like soothing a sick child. Also, when any guest came calling, it was again my mother who used to take the entire day off just to entertain them. My father could get away with attending to them for a couple of hours in the evening. We wouldn’t have had it otherwise. It worked well for us. All of us. That didn’t make my mother a less of a professional or my father an inconsiderate husband. They both could maintain the balance between work and life. There would have been voices against such (frequently leave-taking women) employees. But they were not loud enough to bother any of us.
Things are different now.
The stress at work place is more than ever before. We are at work 24 hours a day. The living conditions at home (and around) have changed. While we could roam about the streets in our colony without fear, these days parents can’t imagine leaving kids like that – thanks to the ever increasing crime rate. The expectations are high. Both at work and home. And this applies to both men and women. But the social conditions have remained the same. We still are more attached to our mothers. We seek comfort from them. We want the lady of the house to entertain guests. We want our women to be present for any social/religious gathering. We want the mother to be fully responsible for the child’s upbringing. And yes, we want them to be successful professionals as well. After all, haven’t they studied enough and aren’t they belonging to the ‘new’ era? Similar conditions apply to men as well. But the rules here are more relaxed. And so, if a man skips a marriage party, he can cite his work responsibilities as the reason. While if a woman does so, she is labeled as unsocial, and irresponsible towards the family.
These conditions would change eventually (hopefully). But till then people at workplace need to be aware and sensitive to these issues. It is easy to smirk and say that women are a burden on the team. But it should also be acknowledged that they are often more professional and productive than their male counterparts. Just because they run to their home as soon as they are required to doesn’t mean they take their jobs lightly. I am not generalizing and labeling all women employees to be the ‘star-performers’. I am just against labeling them as ‘unprofessional’ just because they don’t have ONLY work on their minds. Their world is much wider than that.